There are plenty of lodging options in Estes Park, but renting a cabin is the way to go for a truly authentic Rocky Mountain experience.
Look at a topographic map of the mountainous terrain above Durango and you are certain to see an excess of high altitude lakes. Many have trails going right to them, but most of these are demanding hikes, especially for the casual hiker. However, those seeking a shorter excursion to a backcountry pool are in luck. Clocking in at 2 miles round-trip and 400 feet of elevation change, the Potato Lake Trail is an easy hike to a beautiful backcountry lake. Oh, and by the way, if you want to sound like local, call it Spud Lake instead of Potato Lake!
Don’t let the name give you the wrong impression. A hike on the Purgatory Flats Trail is anything but purgatory —unless you start sucking air due to the high elevation! If you are hanging out in and around Durango and gearing up to travel the absurdly scenic Highway 550, this is a fantastic option for a short, easy day hike.